Finally, Something Green At Banks Besides Greenbacks

Until now, our perception of the occurrence of green in relation to banks has inevitably led us to the conclusion that the subject was greenbacks. Now, we learn, to our watchful pleasure, that another sort of green can mollify our usual love-hate relationship with major and minor financial institutions toward the more tranquil sentiment.

We learned, with admitted tardiness, that three years ago ten of the globe’s major financial institutions made the enlightened decision to comply with what are known as the Equator Principles, which were designed to assure that projects they finance don’t harm the environment or the people close enough to the project to watch the groundbreaking. One of the signers of this commendable declaration was an American institution and it was, surprise, Citigroup.

By now the ranks of banks that have signed on have grown to forty-one, and we find among them the homegrown smacker backers Wells Fargo, J. P. Morgan Chase, and Bank of America.

The troupe calls itself the Equator Principles Financial Institutions.

And they’ve just made their principles more rigorous. Now, they will apply them to any project that has a capital cost of over $10 million, down from $50 million.

Of course, there are details to quibble about – and when weren’t there? – like really how much are they willing to put green trees before green currency and is their new allegiance driven by reformed character or the increasing difficulty of obtaining permission to dig?

But at least when you head for one of the participating banks to accomplish something in relation to your own visions of greenery, you can contemplate their indulgence of the Equator Principles and find some equanimity in your thoughts about how you might think about the institution, particularly on those occasions when you find you’ve been assessed what seems to you an extortionate fee for a minor blip in your balance.

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